3 more Richmond schools accredited; total now 17
2/3/2017, 7:55 p.m.
By Holly Rodriguez
The Virginia Department of Education revised its accreditation list for Richmond Public Schools, adding three more to the list for a total of 17.
Bellevue Elementary, Franklin Military Academy and Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts are now fully accredited. They join 14 city schools that previously were accredited for 2016-17.
RPS has a total of 44 schools.
Eleven city schools received partial accreditation and 16 schools were denied accreditation for the current school year, based on student Standards of Learning test scores for the 2015-16 school year.
“In April, the General Assembly passed a bill that allows a re-test for any student who failed the SOL test in third through eighth grade,” said Valenta Wade, manager of testing and data services for RPS. “If the student takes the test again and passes, then the school earns credit toward accreditation,” a process called remediation recovery, she said.
Schools must receive a score of at least 74.5 in English, and a 69.5 in math, history and science to be fully accredited.
Bellevue, Franklin Military and Patrick Henry were within one point of full accreditation, and 23 students from the three schools raised their individual scores enough to earn credits toward increasing their schools’ overall scores, Ms. Wade said.
Students must score at least a 400 on each of the tests to pass.
All schools must receive passing scores for three consecutive years to maintain accreditation and will receive a series of warnings each year they do not. By year three, they can be denied accreditation and can petition the VDOE for partial accreditation.
In order to re-test the students, schools are required to create a test preparation program for students.
“The schools design a remediation plan and submit it to the testing and data services office,” Ms. Wade said.
When RPS superintendent Dr. Dana T. Bedden became superintendent in January 2014, only 11 schools had full accreditation, officials said. Six additional schools have received full accreditation during his tenure, less than half of all city schools.
“The numbers are increasing and we are seeing progress, but it is incremental and takes time,” said RPS spokesperson Kenita Bowers.